I love letters. Not the actual letters…like “a, b, c, d…” although they certainly are handy…but I love hand-written letters. It’s been a disappointment of my busy life. That I can’t write long letters. I’m relegated to short texts with massive amounts of typos.
I suppose I could say each blog is a long rambling letter sent to many friends. But there’s a difference. I’m not quite as personal or vulnerable as in a letter. Someone is thinking, “More personal?!? Sharing more vulnerably?!? Woman, you share a lot!”
I’ve been reading Paul’s beautiful letter to the Ephesians, rich with imagery and encouragement, praise and prayer.
Prior to becoming a single parent I’d been studying the extraordinary armor of God with the hope of someday writing about it. But things happened and I see how God has deepened my understanding of that armor. The ponderings of that younger, less-overwhelmed-by-life me, although not wrong, are not as insightful or even to some degree applicable as I’d like.
To prepare to study what that armor is, why I’d want to wear it, and how to put it on, I’ve turned back again to the beginning of Ephesians eager to see how the letter is a preparation for the introduction of the armor of God.
The first chapter is a powerful presentation of the gospel, but this morning I am particularly impacted by Paul’s prayer in chapter 1. A godly man’s ceaseless prayer for awesome things for his siblings in Christ.
What powerful things to pray for those we love…
That they may have a spirit of wisdom
If you could read my journal, you’d see that my #1 prayer is, ‘Lord, please give me wisdom.” I pray that prayer for my children… occasionally. I am convicted.
Sometimes when I pray for wisdom, it’s more like a “Hail Mary” prayer thrown out in desperation. ‘Lord, help! I need wisdom!” And often I think I doubt that I’ll get it in time. I forget that God gives generously to those who ask. It’s His desire as well as mine that I live wisely. He will give me wisdom to walk well with Him. And He has given me His word, an imperative part of getting wisdom. I just need to ASK.
As a parent with children reaching their adult years, I can’t begin to tell you how desperately I pray my children will live and act wisely for their sake. But I want to pray more that through wisdom they will know and love God more deeply, passionately, and fully.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who give generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8
That they may have a spirit of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
I looked up revelation – it means “uncovering”. I’m trying to figure out what a spirit of uncovering means. Feels like there is some deeper meaning to it. But maybe it’s like an “aha” moment. Like uncovering a gift and seeing it, possibly for the first time. This gift is the knowledge – the understanding – of Him. The wonder of this gift is I can continue to uncover it more and more….each uncovering revealing another beautiful understanding of who He is…and who I am.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20
That the eyes of their hearts will be enlightened
The eyes of my heart…rather an odd phrase really. But when God says to fix my gaze on Him isn’t He also saying to fix my heart on Him? A fervent prayer is that my heart be toward Him…my affection be directed to my Lord. It’s my wish for all my children’s hearts to be God’s. That they will love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5) That because their hearts are toward Him they will not just know of Him, but truly know Him.
That they may know the hope to which he has called them, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
HOPE. There is something wonderful about that word. Who doesn’t want hope? And our hope, well it’s pretty amazing. The expectation of things to come. The assurance of something better. The beauty of our hope – it isn’t some far-off hope that someday we get to have or do something. It is the promise of our salvation. The guarantee of a heavenly party, a heavenly feast, a heavenly mansion and, most wonderfully, Him for eternity.
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:22-23
That they may know what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…
Sometimes doesn’t it just feel like we are at the mercy of our circumstances, the decisions of others, our emotions (dare I say it, hormones?) and the dictates of life? It does to me. Sometimes I completely forget that God is all-powerful. The power that created the universe, that designed and made each delicate feature of the smallest creature, that made me fearfully and wonderfully, that created me with a purpose, that loved me to the Cross…that same power that raised Jesus from the dead…that power is at work within me! And for some reason today, that phrase ‘his power toward us who believe” is particularly poignant. It comforts me to know that not only do I have His power working in me, it is working on my behalf. Always has been working for me. The same power that saves me, sustains me. I want my children to know that power…to understand the strength that God gives not just for salvation, but for every day.
So today, I will pray for my children, my family, my friends…for you and even for me. That God will bless all of us with wisdom, revelation, knowledge, enlightenment, hope, and the comfort of knowing that God’s power is in you and toward you.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.